Pet Peeves About Online Games
As anyone who’s read this blog may have figured out, I play a lot of games. I’m not necessarily good at them, but I play them. And, like a lot of people, I have gotten into my fair share of online games. In this case, I don’t mean World of Warcraft or the (sadly) defunct City of Heroes, I mean those annoying Facebook games that you start playing and can’t stop. Either those, or the app games you download to your phone (or, in my case, iPod touch) and play. And, I have had fun with a lot of these games, for a while, until I get bored or I get ticked off. A lot of times, they just tick me off.
1) This Game Is Free… Sort of
These games dominate the online game world. They are usually free to download, or to play online. But, as you play, you soon discover that they really are not all that free to play. One game I’m currently playing, Explorers of the Lost World, is like this. You can download the game for free, and even make some degree of progress. But soon, you discover that you need gems to unlock certain aspects of the game. Some new buildings require gems. New characters require gems. And even completing some tasks require gems. Now, you do earn a gem every time you level up, one gem. But, you need something like 25 gems to unlock the doctor character so you can complete some of the missions. 40 gems will unlock the hunter, which is handy in defending your little realm. Thus, you either have to play a Hell of a lot to get the gems… or you can buy gems from the store.
2) This Game Is A Solo Game… Sort Of
There are times when you don’t really need to spend extra money on a game. You can progress level after level without the need to put any more money into the game than you might have already have by buying it (or downloading it free if it’s a free game). At least, until you hit the barrier. This barrier is not one of money, it’s of friends. It turns out that to progress further, you need to have your friends participate in the game.
Now, on Facebook, some of this is acceptable since these games are defined as social games. But it still gets annoying to hit a roadblock because you need to have five friends playing the same game as you and you only have three.
Where it really gets annoying is when you are playing a game that is, for the most part, a solo game, and you run into these roadblocks. Candy Crush Saga, the latest such game to take over the time of millions of people, is like this. As you progress through the levels, you hit barriers, needing three friends to give you the tickets to advance to the next stage. It really stinks when you just want to play the game and not bother your other friends, especially with a game that ends up being as addictive as Candy Crush Saga.
3) Your Crops Are Ready Now… NOW!… Too Late, they died
Anyone who has played Farmville is well aware of this. You log on, play some crops and log off. You think nothing more of it since you are having, you know, a real life. You log back on later to discover that your crops died because you did not log back on exactly three hours after you planted them to harvest them. Games like this seem to forget that they are simple pastimes to kill some time here and there, not the solo center of your universe. Thankfully, there are a number of games out there which have relaxed this, allowing you to deal with the harvesting on your own time without killing the crops off.
4) You Are In A Dark Passage… Buy Part 2
You have downloaded a game that looks pretty cool. You are making decent progress. You even think you could solve the game. That is, of course, up until the point where you find that there is no conclusion to the game you have… unless you purchase part 2. Granted, you give some leeway to some of these games. Those games tell you right off the bat that there are only three levels in this free version. The ones that are not fun are the ones that don’t reveal they are a demo until after you finished the demo.
5) You Are In A Dark Cavern. You Turn Left… Come Back In 2 Hours
You expect a bit of this with some of the farming type games. You need to allow resources to grow, cultivate and replenish. Where this gets to be less than fun is when you are playing a game that really seems to have no reason to do this. These can be games like slot machine games that give you only a limited number of spins regardless of how many virtual coins you have stocked up, or adventure games that don’t make it obvious that there are only a certain number of movies you can do in an hour.